In our Sunday evening services, I have been teaching through the book of Romans. This coming Sunday evening we are getting to a very important part of our study where Paul talks about the justification of sinners through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. We’ve come to the part where Paul has shown us that we are all sinners and then he begins to explain how one is saved through the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul writes, “This righteousness from God comes from faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus,” (Rom.3:22-24 NIV). These verses are filled with some profoundly significant biblical principles. The word “justified” is a Greek word which means “to acquit”, “to vindicate”, or “to pronounce righteous”. It is the act of God whereby God declares the believing sinner righteous on the basis of Christ’s finish work on the cross and the believers trust in that sacrifice on their behalf. The verb “justified” or related words occur some 30 times in the book of Romans and stand as a legal term to declare our righteousness in God’s eyes because we have been pardoned from guilt and the penalty of sin by what Jesus Christ has done.
This principle of justification by grace alone through the finished work of Christ is foreshadowed many times in the Old Testament. In fact, in Romans 4 Paul is going to talk about “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness,” (Rom.4:3). We also see this principle clearly taught in Isaiah 53:6 where Isaiah writes, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all,” (NIV). This very much describes the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf. It was also David who wrote out of his deep sense of brokenness that led him to pray, “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise,” (Ps.51:16,17 NIV).
Over and over again in our study of Romans, we will see this concept of justification and the fact that we stand before God declared righteous because of what Jesus Christ is done. This “justification” or “declaring us righteous” is offered to both Jew and Gentile on equal terms. We must come by faith to appropriate Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf. God has functioned out of His amazing grace to make our salvation possible, and it is not something that should be taken lightly and certainly not taken for granted. We are redeemed by the death of Christ on the cross of Calvary, His blood was the price and payment for all of human sin. The means of our redemption is the fact that Jesus gave Himself for us and when we place our faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, God declares us righteous or justified. What an amazing gift God has made available to each and everyone who places their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. To have a right standing before the God of the universe is one of the most awesome experiences we can ever have. What is your standing before the God of the universe? I’m glad I’m standing in the completed work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I rejoice in Jesus’ finished work in the salvation that He provides to all who believe and trust in Him.
All to Jesus I surrender, Pastor Rich Sivo